I don’t like the way child protective services (CPS) handled my case. What can I do?


Each state provides its own policies and procedures for reporting and investigating child abuse and neglect cases. State and local agencies and courts implement these policies and procedures according to state laws. To learn more about your state’s policies and procedures for handling child abuse and neglect cases, visit your state child welfare agency website related to child protection or CPS. Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, provides a list of state child welfare agency websites.

If you have questions about the way in which CPS handled your case, you may want to begin by discussing your concerns with your caseworker and the agency supervisor. An open discussion will often help answer your questions.

If you have made every effort to resolve your concerns with the local agency staff and you feel that your concerns have not been adequately addressed, you may want to ask if the agency has an appeal procedure or a complaint/ombudsman office. Information Gateway provides a state-by-state listing of complaints/ombudsman offices.

A general overview of the steps that parents/caregivers may take to resolve their differences with a service provider may be found in the Information Gateway factsheet for families From Complaint to Resolution: Understanding the Child Welfare Grievance Process.

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